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    Henry Jacob Bigelow. "Insensibility during surgical operations produced by inhalation."in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Volume XXXV (1846), No. 16, pages 309-317, and No. 19, pages 379-382. Boston: David Clapp, Proprietor and Publisher, 1847. First edition of "the first published announcement of the discovery of surgical anesthesia, the most significant contribution to medicine made in the United States during the nineteenth century" (Norman Library). Octavo (8.75 x 5.5 inches; 223 x 139 mm.). Volume XXXV of The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Edited by J. V. C. Smith, M.D., contains "Twenty-Six Weekly Numbers.-August, 1846, to February, 1847." 544 pages. Diagram on page 527. Recent quarter brown calf over marbled paper over boards by Starr Booksworks (stamp-signed in black on verso of front free endpaper), smooth spine ruled in gilt with red leather label ruled and lettered in gilt. Corners of rear board very lightly rubbed. Two brown stains to outer blank margin of journal title; a couple of small stains in the lower margin through the index; some foxing and occasional browning; vertical crease down the center of most leaves; final blank leaf separating in upper gutter with small piece torn away; a few tiny edge tears or nicks; unidentified booklabel on front pastedown. A very good copy. Protected in a black cloth chemise and blue cloth slipcase with black leather spine label decoratively ruled and lettered in gilt. Cushing B380; Dibner 128 note; Fulton & Stanton IV.1 (page 37); Garrison-Morton 5651; Grolier, Medical, 64A; Heirs of Hippocrates 1859; Norman Library 232; Osler 1355; Waller 1327.

    More Information: "In the summer of 1846, W. T. G. Morton, a Boston dentist, began investigating the anesthetic properties of sulphuric ether, and by September was using it successfully in his practice. Bigelow at this time was a rising young surgeon with connections to the Massachusetts General Hospital, and it was probably through his influence that Morton was allowed to give there, on 16 October, the first public demonstration of the efficacy of ether as a surgical anesthetic in an operation performed by John Collins Warren. The demonstration was highly successful, as was a repeat performance made the next day, but Morton, who wished to patent the process, refused to disclose the nature of his preparation or to allow any further trials. Bigelow, however, forced the issue by communicating Morton's results in a brief announcement made on 3 November to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. On 7 November an amputation was performed with ether, and Morton authorized Bigelow's publication of the present detailed account of its use, read before the Boston Society of Medical Improvement on 9 November and printed in the 18 November issue of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" (Norman Library).

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    March, 2020
    4th Wednesday
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